Monday, October 8, 2012

Diamond In The Rough: Int'l Gem Tower Glistens On 47th St

From the West (A Fine)
From the NW (A Fine)
Front from the North (A Fine)
The is an unmistakable vibe on West 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in the Diamond District that is distinctly New York. There are hucksters, peddlers, probably a fair share of thieves, and  countless jewelry stores that are happy to buy, sell or trade diamonds, gold, rubies, coins- you name it. There are millions of dollars of value in pockets, bags, briefcases and other carriers just walking down the street at any time. The vibe is palpable and energizing. This is where commerce happens in it's raw form. That raw form also translates to the chaotic assemblage of stores and offices up and down the street that scream for your business.
The chaos is about to get a bit more orderly with the soon to open International Gem Tower in the middle of the block. The commercial condo, designed by SOM and built by Extell Development has topped at 34 stories, has been glassed, and now glimmers in the sun with diamond pattered exterior. Yes, it is another glass job, but I think that the execution is excellent, appropriate to the area, and to be frank, classes the joint up a bit! The building truly does glimmer, as intended, and makes for an interesting sight regardless of where the sun is in the sky. I haven't seen the building at night, but would not be surprised to catch a similar, if not more sparkly effect from the lights of the skyline. The building is a clear improvement in the area, but let's not get carried away, we don't want this street too cleaned up (a laTimes Square), as the gritty energy is a New York institution that should be savoured and enjoyed.
Wiki on The Diamond District (Wikipedia)
Curbed File On Int'l Gem Tower (Curbed)
The Bling Building, Review Of Gem Tower (TRD 3/2012)

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